Residential location (if applicable)
Staff Member / Affiliate Type
National Professional OfficerReason
Regular > Regular Assignment
Remote work accepted
Target Start Date
Job Posting End Date
February 16, 2024
Standard Job Description
Organizational Setting and Work Relationships
In the Bureaux, the Protection Officer works under the direct supervision of the Senior Protection Coordinator or Senior Protection Officer. In the Field, the incumbent normally reports to the Representative, Deputy or Assistant Representative (Protection), Head of Sub Office or Senior Protection Officer as appropriate. The incumbent may have direct supervisory responsibility for protection staff whose work may include RSD, community-based protection, registration, resettlement, complementary pathways, internal displacement and education, among other areas. In HQ, the incumbent may report to a Senior Protection Officer, Chief of Section or Deputy Director and may supervise other protection staff.
The incumbent acts as an advisor to senior management in, when not responsible for, designing a comprehensive protection strategy under the area of responsibility (AoR). S/he represents the Organization to authorities, UN sister agencies, partners and other stakeholders on protection policy and doctrine.
The Protection Officer coordinates quality, timely and effective protection responses to the needs of populations of concern under the AoR. S/he ensures that persons of concern of all age, gender and diversity groups are involved with the Office in making decisions that affect them, whether in accessing their rights or in identifying and implementing appropriate solutions to their problems. To undertake this role effectively, the incumbent will need to build and maintain effective interfaces with other relevant teams within the operation or the Bureau (including programme; PI and external relations; IM) and with DIP, communities of concern, authorities, protection and assistance partners as well as a broader network of stakeholders who can contribute to enhancing protection and achieving solutions.
All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR’s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity.
– Provide technical guidance and support to UNHCR and partners on all protection related issues.
– Stay abreast of and report as relevant on legal political, social, economic and cultural developments that have an impact on the protection environment.
– Engage relevant national authorities and structures in identifying and expanding opportunities in view of developing or strengthening national asylum/RSD systems.
– Facilitate a consultative process with government counterparts, partners and persons of concern to develop and implement a comprehensive protection and solutions strategy addressing the specific protection needs of women and men, children, youth and older persons, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation and/or gender identities (LGBTI persons), persons living with HIV/AIDS; gender equality and Gender Based Violence (GBV) priorities with regard to these persons.
– In operations applying the Cluster Approach, seek to ensure the response of the Protection Cluster is grounded in a strategy which covers all assessed and prioritized protection needs of the affected populations.
– Support senior management to ensure the protection strategy is fully integrated into the Country Operations Plan, the UN Development and Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the Humanitarian Country Team’s common humanitarian response plan where applicable, as well as with the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees and the Three Year Strategy on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways.
– Promote relevant International, Regional and National Law and applicable UN/UNHCR and IASC policy, standards and codes of conduct and ensure that all sectors and /or in clusters in applicable operations fulfil their responsibilities in mainstreaming protection.
– Promote the implementation of the AGD policy, including UNHCR’s updated commitments to women and girls, and, design, deliver I and monitor programmes on an AGD basis to address identified protection needs.
– Develop, implement and monitor community-based protection strategies and ensure systematic application and integration of participatory and community-based approaches in protection and solutions planning, programming and strategies.
– Support the establishment of feedback and response systems and the incorporation of feedback received from persons of concern into programme design and adaptation.
– Support the operation to develop and implement robust prevention, identification, and responses to fraud within protection processes and procedures, including registration, RSD, resettlement and complementary pathways, ensuring the integrity of interventions across all protection activities.
– Assist UNHCR management at country level to comply with polices and commitment on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse measures.
– Oversee and manage individual protection cases including those on GBV and child protection.
– Provide legal advice and guidance on protection issues to internal and external interlocutors; ensure legal assistance is accessible to persons of concern; liaise with competent authorities to ensure the issuance of personal and other relevant documents to persons of concern (including women and others in need of civil documentation, in particular birth certificates).
– As designated Data Protection Focal Point, assist the data controller in carrying out his or her responsibilities regarding the Data Protection Policy (7.2 DPP).
– Oversee and undertake eligibility and status determination within the AoR ensuring compliance with UNHCR procedural standards and international protection principles.
– Promote and implement effective strategies and measures to identify, prevent and reduce statelessness within the AoR.
– Contribute to the development and implementation of an education plan as part of protection strategy within the AoR as relevant.
– Contribute to the development and implementation of a child protection plan as part of the protection strategy within the AoR ensuring programmes use a child protection systems approach.
– Monitor, and intervene in cases of refoulement, expulsion and other protection incidents through working relations with governments and other partners.
– Work to safeguard the rights of persons of concern in the context of mixed movements as relevant.
– Coordinate the preparation of, implement and oversee Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all protection/solutions activities.
– Ensure that durable solutions through voluntary repatriation, local integration and where appropriate, resettlement and complementary pathways are sought and provided to the largest possible number of persons of concern, including undertaking and/or overseeing resettlement and complementary pathways activities.
– Contribute to the coordination of the design, implementation and evaluation of protection related programming with implementing and operational partners.
– Contribute to and facilitate a programme of results-based advocacy through a consultative process with sectorial and/or cluster partners.
– Ensure that the Protection Sector or Cluster has an effective information management component which: provides disaggregated data on populations of concern and their problems; researches, collects and disseminates relevant protection information and good practices to enhance protection delivery.
– Build the protection capacity of national and local government, partners and civil society to assume their responsibilities vis-à-vis all persons of concern through protection training, mainstreaming and related activities.
– Coordinate capacity-building initiatives for communities and individuals to assert their rights.
– Advise and capacitate national authorities, relevant institutions and civil society to strengthen legislation and status determination procedures and mechanisms.
– Support the identification and management of risks and seek to seize opportunities impacting objectives in the area of responsibility. Ensure decision making in risk based in the functional area of work. Raise risks, issues and concerns to a supervisor or to relevant functional colleague(s).
– Perform other related duties as required.
For positions in Bureaux
– Support the Regional Bureau and Country Operations to reflect the protection and solution angle in support of persons of concern within regional processes.
– Support Country Operations in the development of strategies to build and further develop national asylum/RSD systems with a view to ensuring their fairness, efficiency, adaptability and integrity, favourable protection environment and solutions.
– Assist UNHCR management at regional and country level to comply with polices and commitment on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse measures.
– Support Country Operations and ensure they meet their complementary pathways objectives and resettlement quotas.
– In close collaboration with DIP, (a) contribute to the development of background and general normative, policy, and legal positions, in compliance with UNHCR’s global protection policies and standards; (b) contribute to the development of strategies at the regional and country level on the usage of law and policy approaches, including legislative and judicial engagement and UN human rights mechanisms – and/or regional ones – and other protection frameworks, and integrated human rights standards in protection strategies and advocacy; and (c) support coordination and review of UNHCR’s country reports to the UN human rights mechanisms.
– Engage in relevant international and regional fora and contribute to forging regional partnerships to advocate for key protection and mandate issues, and engage in cross-cutting protection-related matters, including mixed movement, internal displacement and climate change/disaster-related displacement responses, as well as Statelessness, in cooperation with DIP and where relevant RSD.
Years of Experience / Degree Level
For P3/NOC – 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree
Field(s) of Education
Law; International Law; International Refugee Law;
International Human Rights Law; International Humanitarian Law;
Refugee and Forced Migration Studies; Political Sciences
or other relevant field.
Certificates and/or Licenses
Protection Learning Programme
RSD- Resettlement Learning Programme
(Certificates and Licenses marked with an asterisk* are essential)
Relevant Job Experience
Minimum 4 years of relevant professional experience in the area of refugee protection, internal displacement, human rights or international humanitarian law, including experience in working directly with Field Offices. Good knowledge of International Refugee and Human Rights Law and ability to apply the relevant legal principles. Excellent legal research, analytical skills and drafting.
Diverse field experience. Good IT skills including database management skills.
*PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
*PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD)
PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards
PR-International Humanitarian Law
PR-Comprehensive Solutions Framework
PR-Assessment of IDPs Status, Rights, Obligation
PR-Climate change and disaster related displacement
PR-Accountability to Affected People – Principles and Framework
PR-Gender Based Violence (GBV) Coordination
(Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential)
For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English.
For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language.
For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English.
All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power.
As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise.
This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.
Desired Candidate Profile
The incumbent should possess the following:
• Legal background and over 14 years’ experience in International Protection including Refugee Status Determination especially exclusion analysis, statelessness, mixed migration, and voluntary repatriation.
• Extensive experience on capacity development of key stakeholders (Government: line Ministries, local authorities, law enforcement, military, judiciary, and Partners) on legal framework and International Protection.
• Solid experience in working in emergency and protracted refugee situations.
• Substantive experience in coordination and knowledge of Refugee coordination model.
• Extensive experience in managing large teams and dealing with complex protection issues.
• Conversant with UNHCR guidelines and policies on International Protection, programming, CRRF, REHOPE and STA initiatives.
• Excellent leadership, communication, and drafting skills.
• Conversant with ProGres version 4 database
• Fluency in English is essential. Knowledge of the languages spoken by the refugees e.g Kiswahili and French are added advantage.
Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):
Nature of Position:
As of end of December 2023, Uganda hosted 1,615,162 refugees and asylum-seekers (the highest number of refugees and asylum-seekers in Africa). The majority of the refugees (92%) reside in 13 refugee settlements alongside the local communities whilst 8% reside in urban areas (mainly Kampala). Children constitute 57% of the population while women and children account for 80% of the population, 3% are elderly and 24% are youth. The refugees and asylum-seekers are from 31 countries and majority are from South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Pursuant to the Uganda Multi Year Strategy, Uganda operation is focusing on implementation of protection interventions among others. As part of the strategy, Uganda Operation is implementing Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, and Settlement Transformation Agenda II among others with the objective of enhancing protection deliverables for refugees and host communities through partnership with development and private sectors.
Under the direct supervision of the Senior Protection Officer, the incumbent of the position will coordinate protection activities and work closely with the Partners and host Government. In addition, he/she will support capacity development of government and Partners on International Protection and legal framework as well as assess complex and sensitive cases. The incumbent will also develop policy documents, legal analysis, and funding proposals. In addition, he/she will support the review of strategies and mainstreaming of protection in various sectors. The incumbent will represent UNHCR in strategic meetings as well as prepare reports.
Living and Working Conditions:
Kampala is a family duty station with no compensatory time-off (CTO) modalities such as rest and recuperation (R&R) available. For accommodation, UNHCR personnel on mission are advised to use UNDSS-recommended hotels which can be obtained from the UNHCR country focal points arranging the travel in Uganda. Checklist for hotels should include presence of guards, lobby reception service, lockable doors and cabinet, safe, CCTV and metal detectors at the entrance, among others. For long-term stay, UN country security requirement mandates a residential security assessment before leasing.
On health considerations, the operation has a set-in place medical evacuation arrangements. The public health system is considered to be of an average quality and there are several private health centres in the capital and other regional hubs. Malaria and other vector-borne diseases are prevalent in the country as well as HIV/AIDS. Travelers are responsible in getting required vaccination prior to their travel. Supply of medicine is available in commercial pharmacies in Kampala and other major urban locations but it is strongly advised to bring important medication before traveling. Access to medical service in remote locations is difficult. When outside of the capital and not feeling well, personnel are advised to undergo medical diagnostics the soonest to ascertain medical condition and avoid health issue to worsen.
The main immunization required for country entrance is yellow fever. To date, the COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory for country entrance, but it is advised for the personnel to keep monitoring travel measures in this regard. The water supply in Uganda is not clean, but it is not unsafe to use tap water for brushing teeth, provided that bottled water is used for drinking.
On Educational facilities, there are a number of good quality primary and secondary schools in Kampala. Most are multicultural and employ teachers of different nationalities.
LE-Judicial Engagement, PR-Accountability to Affected People – Principles and Framework, PR-Age, Gender and Diversity (AGD), PR-Assessment of IDPs Status, Rights, Obligation, PR-Climate change and disaster related displacement, PR-Comprehensive Solutions Framework, PR-Gender Based Violence (GBV) Coordination, PR-Human Rights Doctrine/Standards, PR-International Humanitarian Law, PR-Protection-related guidelines, standards and indicators
Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Humanitarian Law, Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Human Rights Law, Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Law, Bachelor of Arts (BA): International Refugee Law, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Law, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Political Science, Bachelor of Arts (BA): Refugee and Forced Migration StudiesCertifications
HCR Protection Learning Program – UNHCR, HCR Resettlement Learning Program – UNHCR
Accountability, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing performance, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Political awareness, Teamwork & collaboration
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Shortlisted candidates may be required to sit for a written test and/or oral interview. UNHCR does not charge a fee at any stage of its recruitment process. Recruitment as a UNHCR staff member is subject to proof of vaccination against COVID-19
This position doesn’t require a functional clearance